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GCC takes to takaful; Al Baraka set for Morocco launch; a de novo bank in Tanzania soon

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GCC takes to takaful; Al Baraka set for Morocco launch; a de novo bank in Tanzania soon

Welcometo S&P Global Market Intelligence's new Middle East and Africa Daily Dose, ourregional news overview published by 9 a.m., Dubai time, Monday to Friday.

Takaful grows: Gross contributions in the globaltakaful sector amounted to $23.2 billion in 2015, up from $22.1 billion a year ago,the Middle East Insurance Review writes, citing the Islamic FinancialServices Board's latest industry stability report. The GCC's takaful sector contributedthe biggest share at 45%, followed by the non-Gulf Middle East and North Africaregion at 31%. The sub-Saharan African takaful sector contributed 2%.

* TheIslamic Financial Services Board is planning to finalize by 2016-end a guidancenote on stress tests of Islamic financial institutions and to release draft disclosurerequirements for sukuk and other capital market products, Reuters reports.

* TheOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said Bahrain, Lebanon, Nauru, Panama and Vanuatu have now committedto share financial account information automatically with other countries in a bidto fight tax evasion. Argaam reports that Bahrain and Portugal signed an agreement to avoid double taxation andmoney laundering.

MIDDLEEAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Al Baraka set for Morocco launch: Al Baraka Banking Group BSC said it obtained official approval to set up a banking unit in Moroccoand is now working to complete establishment procedures with a view to launchingthe unit soon. The group has explored the North African country's market since 2013,Reuters notes.

* Totalpremiums written by the Moroccan insurance industry reached 30.4 billion dirhamsin 2015, up 7% from the previous year, the MiddleEast and Insurance Review writes, citing data from the MoroccanFederation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies.

* Morocco will now permit residents to pay tax assessments andpenalties through banks, including at ATMs, via internet and mobile banking andat bank branches, La Nouvelle Tribunereports.There will be a charge of 15 dirhams for paying at physical bank branches, Le Matin adds.

* Insuranceand reinsurance group Chedid Capital Holding, in collaboration with investors inDubai, announced the acquisition of 75% of Al Manara Insurance Services Co. Ltd.,an insurance brokerage firm operating in the United Arab Emirates, Argaam says.Intelligent Insurer also covers.

* AramcoCEO Amin Nasser said the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil firm is now finalizing proposalsfor its IPO and will present the proposals soon to the company's Supreme Council,which is headed by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to Reuters. Nasser insisted thatthe government will have sole control of the firm's oil and gas output levels evenafter the IPO.

* parent PasargadFinancial Group is considering an IPO of energy unit Pasargad Energy DevelopmentCo. following the lifting of certain sanctions against Iran, according to Bloomberg News. Bank PasargadCEO and PEDC Chairman Majid Ghassemi said the IPO could take place in the currentIranian year that ends March 2017 or the next Iranian year at the latest.

* Thecentral bank of the United Arab Emirates gave banks in the country up to June 16to assess the impact of IFRS9 and the changes they will need to make to comply withthe new accounting standards, Reuters writes. IFRS9 is likely to significantlyaffect banks' operations and lead them to increase provisions against bad loans.

* deniedrumors that it was subject to a heist of 19 million UAE dirhams, Argaam writes.

* shareholders approveda proposal to issue $3 billion in certificates of deposits and $2 billion in commercialpaper, The Peninsula reports. Doha Bank will issue the instrumentsdirectly or through a guaranteed special-purpose vehicle.

* completeda capital hike through a share issue, with total capital following the increasestanding at 2.41 billion riyals, Argaam writes.

* Dubai-based lenders EmiratesNBD Bank PJSC and CommercialBank of Dubai PSC are in talks to refinance existing debt by taking out new loans of as muchas $1.7 billion, Reuters writes. Emirates NBD is in discussion with banks about a three-year loan of up to $1.2 billionas it aims to refinance an $800 million facility that matures in December, whileCommercial Bank of Dubai is said to be eyeing a three-year facility of up to $500million to expand a $450 million facility that also matures in December.

* TheDubai Financial Services Authority imposeda restriction on Noyan Ayhan, a former trader at an authorized firm, after he inflatedthe value of his trading book by approximately $11 million to cover up losses.

* signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai-based Express Money to facilitatemoney transfers between the two parties, Argaam notes.

* Kuwaitibanks advised clients of their money exchange operations to stop transferring foreignexchange through the SWIFT network following warnings from U.S. lenders about thehigh risk of money laundering and terrorism finance, the Kuwait Times reports.

* unitBoubyan Bank KSCP issueda $250 million perpetualsukuk in an aim to boost its Tier 1 capital, the Kuwait Times reports. The sukuk carries a coupon of 6.75%.

* appointedMohammed al-Sakka deputy CEO, Argaam notes.

* Lebanon-basedByblos Bank SAL completedthe acquisition of 99.18%of Banque Pharaon & Chiha SAL'sshares. The consideration is based on a valuation of 100% of Banque Pharaon &Chiha's issued share capital at $91 million. The acquisition is the first step tothe merger through absorption of Banque Pharaon & Chiha by Byblos Bank.

* responded to news reports regarding a potentialrelocation of the group's headquarters outside Lebanon, saying it has not made anydecision on the matter.

* yesterdayreported a consolidated net loss attributableto owners of the company of 128.1 million Egyptian pounds in the first quarter,compared to net profit of 135.9 million pounds in the year-ago period. The grouprecorded an after-tax loss from discontinued operations of 159.9 million pounds,compared to a profit of 113.0 million pounds in the first quarter of 2015. EFG-Hermesreclassified its commercial bank operationsas a discontinued operation due to the divestment of its stake in , resulting in a noncashimpairment charge of 280 million pounds.

* National Bankof Egypt (SAE) booked net profit of 5.8 billion pounds in the firsthalf of the 2015/16 fiscal year, with net income, fees, the number of ATMs and theloan book all rising on a year-over-year basis, Daily News Egypt reports.

* The People's Bank of China signed a three-year renewable dealfor a local currency swap worth 10 billion yuan with its Moroccan counterpart, Reutersreports.

* Tunisian nonlife insurer AMI Insurance Co. launched a tenderyesterday for a foreign strategic partner, which will hold a 35% stake in the companyand help strengthen its capital requirements and competitive position, Il Boursasays.

EASTAND WEST AFRICA

MegaWest Africa stock exchange mulled: West African stock exchanges are looking to join forces to create the second-largeststock exchange in Africa, next to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, in five yearsat the earliest, Yahoo Finance writes. Stockexchanges in Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone will join the Bourse Régionaledes Valeurs Mobilières, a regional stock market for Ivory Coast and seven otherFrench-speaking countries. BRVM CEO Edoh Kossi Amenounve noted that even if theexchange had 200 listed companies in the next five years, it would "remaina small stock exchange compared to the JSE or the Nigerian Stock Exchange."He said: "It is for that reason that it is very important for us to have akind of linkage between the BRVM and [other] stock exchanges in Africa."

* Ghana's Securities and Exchange Commission initiated a probeinto the IPO of Agricultural DevelopmentBank, suspending all activities in relation to the IPO until the outcomeof the investigations, African Markets reports.The SEC said it receiveda petition from the bank against its own IPO after its board of directors failedto approve the IPO results submitted by the financial adviser and lead sponsoringbroker, which in turn should have submitted the same results to the SEC on May 6,Citi Business News adds.

* AnIMF team called on Ghana to continue with its fiscal consolidation program to addressits high public debt levels even amid headwinds from low commodity prices, Reutersreports. Ghana, whose public debt standsat about 70% of GDP, plans to issue a eurobond of up to $1 billion in 2016 to helpfund its budget.

* TheGhanaian parliament's finance committee is pushing for the transfer of the Bankof Ghana's supervisory role over microfinance institutions to other entities, CitiBusiness News reports. Committee Chairman James Avedzisaid delegating regulatory responsibilities over microfinance institutions, of whichthere are more than 500 in Ghana, to other agencies will strengthen oversight ofthe sector.

* NigerianVice President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday that the country "will do anything"to ensure that Nigerian banks remain viable in the event of an economic crisis,Reuters writes.

* CapeVerde is set to receive $25 million from the World Bank next year to fund severalinvestment projects, according to a reportcarried by news website Macauhub. Louise Cord, World Bank director for five countriesin West Africa, said the development bank wants to support projects to foster macroeconomicstability, private sector development and the creation of jobs for the young.

CENTRALAND SOUTHERN AFRICA

De novo bank in Tanzania soon:Tanzania's MeTLGroup intends to open a new bank in the country by the end of 2016, Bloomberg Newsreports. MeTL Group CEO Mohammed Dewjisaid he was "more interested in buying Barclays Tanzania only, but now it seemslike it's not working very well."

* SomeRwandan banks are becoming cautious on mortgage lending amid risks of an emergingreal estate bubble, Reuters notes. Rwandan central bank GovernorJohn Rwangombwa said he was monitoring lending levels in the country as commercialcredit has recorded rapid growth, mainly connected to housing and construction projects.

* and rejected governmentefforts to hold talks regarding the closure of bank accounts connected to the controversialGupta family, Bloomberg News reports. Barclays Africa unit declined an offerto discuss the issue with South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane,while Nedbank Group Ltd.said it was open to meeting with the government but would not discuss banking relationshipswith any of its clients without client consent.

* AngolanPresident José Eduardo dos Santos dismissed central bank Deputy Governors GualbertoManuel Amaro Lima Campos and Cristina Florência Dias Van-Dunem and replaced themwith António Manuel Tiago Dias and Suzana Maria de Fátima Monteiro Camacho, according to Reuters. The president also dismissedand replaced three directors of the central bank's board.

* Britainwants to help cash-strapped Angola diversify its economy as a way to overcome theglobal oil price slump that has plunged Africa's second-biggest crude producer intoeconomic uncertainty, Angolan state news agency Angop reports.The British ambassador to Luanda, John Dennis, was cited as saying that diamondmining, agriculture and construction would be the focus of investment programs.

* Portugal-based Bancode Investimento Global SA formally launched its operations in Mozambiqueyesterday, Diário Económico reports. With Banco de Investimento Global's entry, there are now 19 banks operatingin Mozambique. Jornal deNotícias notesthat official forecasts suggest that 70% of Mozambicans will have a bank accountin 2022, compared with just 24% in 2014.

* A formerCredit Suisse Group AGbanker who helped put together two controversial debt deals for Mozambique leftthe Swiss bank shortly afterwards to work for a key beneficiary of the deals, accordingto a reportcarried by news website Zitamar. Andrew Pearse helped two companies owned by Mozambique'sintelligence services borrow $1.47 billion in loans that were never made public.The revelation of the previously hidden debt has prompted the IMF and other lendersto suspend aid to the country.

* Banque Internationalepour l'Afrique au Congo has been experiencing cash flow problems, whichhave led to customers not being able to withdraw money from the bank's branches,AllAfrica reports.

IN OTHERPARTS OF THE WORLD

* Chinese investors are interested in buying , which the Portuguese centralbank is attempting to sell for a second time, Jornalde Negócios and DiárioEconómico report. The Shanghai Business Association reportedly plans toinvest €10 billion in Portugal, including the banking sector.

* A trader fired by CitigroupInc. for attempting to manipulate foreign exchange rates told a Japanesecourt he was made a scapegoat and that his acts were overlooked by the employer,Bloomberg News reports.Similar statements were made by other former employees during legal proceedingsin other parts of the world.

* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it will take atleast a few months to determine the effects of monetary easing, but the centralbank can still take significant qualitative, quantitative and interest rate measuresif the inflation rate does not improve, Reuters reports.

* UBS Group AGnamed former Commerzbank AGCEO Martin Blessing presidentof personal and corporate banking and president of UBS Switzerland, effective Sept.1.

* The Dutch presidency of the EU suggested that the bloc shouldregulate banks' holdings of sovereign bonds ahead of a decision on the matter ata global level by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Reuters reports.

XanaKakoty, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

TheDaily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time.Some external links may require a subscription.